|Photo by Bill Cooper|
This season sees Opera North's first ever staging of Mozart's very last opera written when, gravely ill and desperate for money, he broke off working on the Magic Flute to take this commission to celebrate the coronation of the new Emperor of Bohemia.
Written in 1791 and set in Ancient Rome, Opera North's stark, state-of-the-art, high-tech version cleverly combines touches of Roman costume with this season's fabulous must-have lace-up boots, corsets and Mac make-up whilst Annemarie Kremer is thrillingly magnificent as jealous and vengeful femme fatale Vitellia, setting the monochrome backdrop alight with flaming fire-engine red hair and flashes of her crimson linings as she cavorts naughtily on a table top to seduce her hopelessly-devoted admirer Sesto, whilst keeping a dagger handy in her clutch bag.
It's a tale of furious sexual envy, assassination plots and loyalty and honour's wrestle with betrayal as Vitellia convinces Sesto to kill his friend the Emperor Tito when he plans to marry another woman. With achingly-beautiful duets, unmistakeable Mozart phrases and a sublimely-ardent aria by Annio begging for La Clemenza di Tito- the clemency of Titus- this is a powerfully-compelling, all-engrossing and utterly captivating opera, superbly and flawlessly interpreted by Opera North's cast and company.
Treacherous, lustful, obsessive, passionate, moving, touching and at times very funny, La Clemenza di Tito, not always considered one of Mozart's most celebrated operas, absolutely deserves this renewed attention and confidentially, our highest recommendations.
Opera North are performing La Voix Humaine with Dido and Aeneas on Friday March 22 and Otello on March 23 at Nottingham Theatre Royal. Full details and ticket prices can be found here